The holiday season is now winding down in Ohio and across the country. You might still have a few social events on your calendar to help ring in the new year. Your office parties and family gatherings are complete, although you might still notice high traffic flow, perhaps from all the people rushing to malls and department stores to exchange or return gifts. Post-holiday traffic can be especially challenging to navigate. Knowing what not to do after a collision is just as important as knowing what to do.

Surviving a motor vehicle collision might seem miraculous in many cases. If your injuries have left you unconscious, you might have no recollection of the immediate aftermath of the incident. However, if you’re awake and alert at the scene, you may want to start gathering evidence and documenting the collision through photographs. There are also several things you’ll want to avoid.

Remain at the scene

The first thing you do not want to do after being involved in a car accident is to leave the scene. In fact, this can land you in a heap of legal trouble later. Even minor collisions can cause property damages or injuries. It is important that you remain on site for the time being. Of course, if rescue workers transport you to the hospital, it’s not the same as leaving the scene on your own volition.

Moving debris isn’t necessarily a good idea

If your car is still drivable, your instinct might be to move it off the road. However, you may want to avoid moving any debris until police have responded to the scene. Placing flares around the immediate collision site can help secure the area while you’re waiting for police.

Don’t engage in discussion with the other driver or drivers

Other than exchanging basic identity and insurance information, you’ll want to avoid engaging in conversation or confrontation with the other party or parties involved in the crash. Especially if another driver is acting aggressive or trying to blame you for the circumstances, it’s best to keep your distance, particularly if police have not yet arrived.

Don’t forget to get information

Not only will you need the other driver’s name, phone number and physical address, you’ll also want to make sure you get his or her insurance company’s name and policy number as well. Leaving the scene without doing so is not a good idea. If you are en route to the hospital, you can ask someone to carry out this task for you. 

Do not decline medical attention

Not all injuries are immediately apparent. Even if you think you’re okay, it’s typically best to seek medical attention after a collision, if only to rule out issues such as whiplash or concussion. It’s also a good idea because your medical records create documentation of the accident that you might need later on, especially if the collision leads to litigation.